Although many of us have hectic schedules and find it hard to find the time to fit a rigorous hike into our diaries, it seems we should all be making more effort to go hiking according to a top German Professor from the Sport Medicine Institute at Germany's University of Munster. He has recently claimed that hiking "every few weeks just isn't enough". His recommendation? "At least two walks a week lasting between 30 and 45 minutes each are needed to show an improvement in health".
So, what's the best way to do this then? We all know we should exercise for 30 minutes every day, which many simply do not have the time to do, so it is intriguing to hear research stating that we should actually be hiking twice a week. For those that have 9-5 jobs it just isn't going to be that simple, but it certainly gives us something to think about. Perhaps if we were all honest with ourselves, we probably don't exercise as much as we should and it's about time we made more of an effort. Of course, time is always of the essence and it makes it difficult for busy people to try and fit hiking into a hectic schedule.
A recent study by Germany's Hiking Association revealed that almost half of people over 16 in Germany went trekking but it was only the over 60s that did this several times each month. Perhaps even more interesting would be a study on the UK or US, to see if our trekking populations could match that. Many would probably doubt it.
When it comes down to it, if you love the outdoors and you like exercising, there is certainly no reason why you can't make the time to go hiking and keep active. If you start when you are younger then it will also reduce health risks later on in life. Perhaps there are some people that still view hiking as something only the older generations do, but if we can all get into the mind and spirit of hiking for enjoyment as well as fitness, then perhaps more young people would embrace the activity.
If you're an active hiker, we think you deserve a pat on the back. If not, well, simply read this article about the health benefits of hiking to see exactly how important it is: http://www.mamashealth.com/hike